February 2018 (#233)

In this update:

  1. 2017 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI)
  2. National Integrity Systems Assessment
  3. National Anti-Corruption Agency
  4. Recent Submissions to Government
  5. Mining for Sustainable Development (M4SD)
  6. Media
  7. Global news


  1. 2017 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI)

February 22nd was launch date in Australia for the 2017 Corruption Perceptions Index. This year’s index saw Australia slip a further two points, from 79 to 77. While this may not appear to be statistically significant for one year, it is a slide of eight points in the last six years, and our rank remains outside the top 10 countries where we once were.

See the full index and the global and Asia pacific regional maps on the TI Australia website.

TI Australia launched the CPI in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney with support from Baker McKenzie, a TI Australia corporate member. TI Australia CEO Serena Lillywhite had good media coverage. Examples of the CPI coverage include:ABC Radio, ABC News online, Fairfax press, Government News, as well as ABC TV News Channel.

For further information on the methodology and other data see the TI website.


  1. How should Australia’s integrity systems be strengthened? Get involved!

Strengthening Australia’s National Integrity System: Priorities for Reform

TI Australia is lead partner in Australia’s second national integrity system assessment – a unique opportunity to identify exactly how our integrity institutions should be strengthened, and help reverse the slide in Australia’s anti-corruption reputation indicated by the 2017 CPI.

In 2017, the Senate Select Committee on a National Integrity Commission already recommended the Assessment be looked to as a key guide to the answers.  With momentum building in support of our campaign for a stronger federal anti-corruption body (see below), this priority project is an excellent way for TI members (individual and corporate) to contribute their considerable experience and expertise to identifying strengths and weaknesses in our public integrity frameworks, state and federal.

The project is led by Griffith University, with a national team of experts supported by the Australian Research Council, NSW Ombudsman, Queensland Integrity Commissioner and Crime & Corruption Commission, Queensland.  Read about it on the TI Australia and Griffith University websites, and hear project leader and TI Australia board member Professor A J Brown interviewed by the ABC’s Linda Mottram in the wake of the CPI result.

To get involved, register by lodging a quick online expression of interest.  In April-May 2018, we will invite you to participate in the National Integrity Survey itself.  Please do share these links with colleagues and others you think may be able to contribute: https://prodsurvey.rcs.griffith.edu.au/nationalintegrity.  For further information, email nationalintegrity@griffith.edu.au.


Save the date!  Join us for our national symposium Australia’s public integrity institutions: strengths, gaps, weaknesses.  Canberra, Tuesday 21 August.  Free, but registration required: email nationalintegrity@griffith.edu.au for details.


  1. National Anti-Corruption Agency

TI Australia welcomes the announcement by the Honorable Bill Shorten that if elected, the ALP will establish an independent national anti-corruption agency. TI Australia  Chair, Anthony Whealy QC was in the press explaining why this is needed and overdue.

The Guardian, and ABC continue to follow the story, reflecting the public support for such an institution.

In 2017 TI Australia worked more closely with The Australia Institute, and our Board Chair, the Anthony Whealy, QC, collaborated with other eminent judges to provide high level advice on the fundamental principles of such an organisation.

With TI Australia having advocated such a reform since 2005 when it was recommended by Australia’s first national integrity system assessment, we are optimistic that, with increasingly bipartisan and multi-party support along with that of our members, it may soon come to pass.


  1. Recent Submissions to Government

Recent submissions by TI Australia are:

The Treasury Laws Amendment (Whistleblowing) Bill 2017

The Electoral Legislation Amendment (Electoral Funding and Disclosure Reform) Bill 2017

Treasury Laws Amendment (Enhancing Whistleblower Protections) Bill 2017


TI Australia submissions can be found on our website: http://transparency.org.au/submissions/


  1. M4SD

The Mining for Sustainable Development Programme (M4SD) successfully concluded Phase I. This was a culmination of two years’ work (funded by the BHP Billiton Foundation and DFAT) to identify and assess corruption vulnerabilities in the mining awards process. All reports in English, Spanish and French are available here.


Throughout 2017, M4SD colleagues from across the globe came together for intensive workshops and international conferences; opened meaningful dialogue with government, industry and civil society; and worked to ensure research and assessments were valid and meaningful.


Thanks, and congratulations to participating TI Chapters: Armenia, Australia, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guatemala, Indonesia, Kenya, Liberia, Mongolia, Mozambique, Niger, Peru, Papua New Guinea, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.



Funding for Phase II has been secured, and this work will continue until 2020, with a focus on addressing the corruption risks identified, with real action planned at a country level.

The TI Australia M4SD team was actively involved in the Mining Inada in South Africa in February 2018, at a dedicated session on enhancing transparency and good governance in the extractives sector.

  1. Media

In addition to the Corruption Perceptions Index media (listed above), TI Australia has had a strong media presence over the past two months, in print, radio and television.

A key story was the Background Briefing  expose on money laundering in the property market.


  1. Global news

Open Government Partnership – Get involved

It’s time to develop Australia’s second Open Government National Action Plan. This Plan is due by 31 August and will cover the period until August 2020.  The Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet invites contributions from the community of appropriate commitments in that second NAP.

You can find out how to make that contribution here 

In late 2017, Transparency International launched their 10 Anti-Corruption Principles for State-owned Enterprises (SOEs)

The 10 Principles provide guidance for SOEs of all types and sizes on anti-corruption best practice. They are based on TI’s Business Principles for Countering Bribery. As entities ultimately owned by the citizens they have a high responsibility to act with integrity and transparency.


In December 2017, The OECD released its Phase 4 Assessment of Australia’s progress in implementing the OECD Ant-Bribery Convention.

The OECD found:

Australia’s enforcement of its foreign bribery offence has increased markedly since Phase 3. Australia is now able to report its first successful foreign bribery prosecutions. Australia also has 19 ongoing investigations and 13 referrals under evaluation.

The OECD noted the steps taken to improve the framework for detecting and investigating foreign bribery cases, and made a number of recommendations, including:

  • Take appropriate steps to address the risk that the proceeds of foreign bribery could be laundered through the Australian real-estate sector;
  • Enhance whistleblower protections in the private sector;
  • Adequately resource AFP and CDPP at a level that ensures Australia can effectively enforce its foreign bribery offence;


TI Australia E-News #233

February 2018

TI Australia is the Australian national chapter of Transparency International (TI), an international not-for-profit organisation devoted to curbing corruption worldwide. The TI Australia E-News is a regular update giving information on the fight against corruption in Australia and worldwide. TI Australia does not necessarily endorse the views expressed in the materials linked to this E-News; nor does it accept responsibility or liability for any loss, damage, cost or expense you might incur as a result of the use of, or reliance upon the materials which appear in the TI Australia E-News.

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